Sunday, June 2, 2019
Goodness….it’s #WorldOutlanderDay! People keep saying to me, “Did you ever think this would happen, when you started writing your book in 1988?” Well, no…
I thought that I’d write this whatever-it-was for practice, and then write a Real Book—perhaps a crime novel, as that’s what I mostly read at the time. I thought I could probably get that one published, eventually, and if so, then I’d write crime novels on the side (while doing my university job) for about twelve years, at which point I might be good/lucky enough to get onto the NYT Bestseller List. At that point (I thought), I’d quit my job and become a full-time writer.
So I thought I’d succeed, eventually—but I sort of didn’t plan on anything like this…
SO—THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU! Because we wouldn’t be here without your kind appreciation and support.
AND SO….what are y’all planning to do to celebrate #WorldOutlanderDay?
a) Re-read OUTLANDER
b) Re-read the whole series
c) Watch OUTLANDER Season One on Netflix
d) Watch OUTLANDER Season 4 on DVD/Blu-Ray/Collector’s Edition
e) Drink whisky (mind, you can do that while doing any of the above)
f) Have the White Sow tattooed on some appropriate part of your anatomy
g) (if female) Make Claire’s Red Dress and get your husband to take you out to dinner in it (remember to bring a Large Fan)
h) (if male) Learn how to do a Scottish sword-dance and do it for your wife if she’ll wear the Red Dress
i) Eat haggis (it comes in a can, if you’re short of sheep stomachs)
OR, you know, just relax and enjoy the following two excerpts, which just go to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same, and that it’s Really Good to have a healer along on the journey.
[Excerpt from OUTLANDER, Copyright © 1991 by Diana Gabaldon]
Apparently he was feeling better. I smiled, despite myself, but spoke firmly nonetheless. “You be quiet,” I said, “or I’ll hurt you.” He gingerly touched the dressing, and I slapped his hand away.
“Oh, threats, is it?” he asked impudently. “And after I shared my drink with ye too!”
The flask completed the circle of men. Kneeling down next to me, Dougal tilted it carefully for the patient to drink. The pungent, burnt smell of very raw whisky floated up, and I put a restraining hand on the flask.
“No more spirits,” I said. “He needs tea, or at worst, water. Not alcohol.”
Dougal pulled the flask from my hand, completely disregarding me, and poured a sizable slug of the hot-smelling liquid down the throat of my patient, making him cough. Waiting only long enough for the man on the ground to catch his breath, he reapplied the flask.
“Stop that!” I reached for the whisky again. “Do you want him so drunk he can’t stand up?”
I was rudely elbowed aside.
“Feisty wee bitch, is she no?” said my patient, sounding amused.
“Tend to your business, woman,” Dougal ordered. “We’ve a good way to go yet tonight, and he’ll need whatever strength the drink can give him.”
The instant the bandages were tied, the patient tried to sit up. I pushed him flat and put a knee on his chest to keep him there. “You are not to move,” I said fiercely. I grabbed the hem of Dougal’s kilt and jerked it roughly, urging him back down on his knees next to me.
“Look at that,” I ordered, in my best ward-sister voice. I plopped the sopping mass of the discarded shirt into his hand. He dropped it with an exclamation of disgust.
I took his hand and put it on the patient’s shoulder. “And look there. He’s had a blade of some kind right through the trapezius muscle.”
“A bayonet,” put in the patient helpfully.
“A bayonet!” I exclaimed. “And why didn’t you tell me?”
He shrugged, and stopped short with a mild grunt of pain. “I felt it go in, but I couldna tell how bad it was; it didna hurt that much.”
“Is it hurting now?”
“It is,” he said, shortly.
“Good,” I said, completely provoked. “You deserve it. Maybe that will teach you to go haring round the countryside kidnapping young women and k-killing people, and….” I felt myself ridiculously close to tears and stopped, fighting for control.
Dougal was growing impatient with this conversation. “Well, can ye keep one foot on each side of the horse, man?”
“He can’t go anywhere!” I protested indignantly. “He ought to be in hospital! Certainly he can’t—”
My protests, as usual, went completely ignored. “Can ye ride?” Dougal repeated.
“Aye, if ye’ll take the lassie off my chest and fetch me a clean shirt.”
[Excerpt from GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, Copyright © 2019 by Diana Gabaldon]
Jamie and Brianna came back in late afternoon, with two brace of squirrels, fourteen doves, and a large piece of stained and tattered canvas which, unwrapped, revealed something that looked like the remnants of a particularly grisly murder.
“Supper?” I asked, gingerly poking at a shattered bone sticking out of the mass of hair and slick flesh. The smell was iron-raw and butcherous, with a rank note that seemed familiar, but decay hadn’t yet set in to any noticeable degree.
“Aye, if ye can manage, Sassenach.” Jamie came and peered down at the bloody shambles, frowning a little. “I’ll tidy it up for ye. I need a bit o’ whisky first, though.”
Given the blood-stains on his shirt and breeks, I hadn’t noticed the equally stained rag tied round his leg, but now saw that he was limping. Raising a brow, I went to the large basket of food, small tools, and minor medical supplies that I lugged up to the house site every morning.
“From what’s left of it, I presume that is—or was—a deer. Did you actually tear it apart with your bare hands?”
“No, but the bear did,” Bree said, straight-faced. She exchanged complicit glances with her father, who hummed in his throat.
“Bear, ”I said, and took a deep breath. I gestured at his shirt. “Right. How much of that blood is yours?”
“No much,” he said tranquilly, and sat down on the big log. “Whisky?”
I looked sharply at Brianna, but she seemed to be intact. Filthy, and with green-gray bird-droppings streaked down her shirt, but intact. Her face glowed with sun and happiness, and I smiled.
“There’s whisky in the tin canteen hanging over there,” I said, nodding toward the big spruce at the far side of the clearing. “Do you want to fetch it for your father while I see what’s left of his leg?”
“Sure. Where are Mandy and Jem?”
“When last seen, they were playing by the creek with Aidan and his brothers. Don’t worry,” I added, seeing her lower lip suck suddenly in. “It’s very shallow there and Fanny said she’d go and keep an eye on Mandy while she’s collecting leeches. Fanny’s very dependable.”
“Mm-hm.” Bree still looked dubious, but I could see her fighting down her maternal impulse to go scoop Mandy out of the creek immediately. “I know I met her last night, but I’m not sure I remember Fanny. Where does she live?”
“With us,” Jamie said, matter-of-factly. “Ow!”
“Hold still,” I said, spreading the puncture wound in his leg open with two fingers while I poured saline solution into it. “You don’t want to die of tetanus, do you?”
“And what would ye do if I said yes, Sassenach?”
“The same thing I’m doing right now. I don’t care if you want to or not; I’m not having it.”
Visit my GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE webpage for more information and access to over fifty Daily Lines (aka ‘excerpts’).
And thank you to Laura Mackle for the lovely bee!
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Just thank you so much for the wonderful world of Outlander! As you can see from my name I’m primarily of Irish Catholic descent. My mom is the one who have me all of my name’s except Patricia which I choose at my confirmation name. I have since become a recovering Catholic. Lol. Love the realism and heart of your writing and can’t/ don’t want to believe that an end will come to this wonderful story. Susan
Happy World Outlander Day to you too!
I did a few things on that day – Watched episodes of S4 on BR (I especially loved the Untold stories), Listened a bit to an Audio version of your 6th book -a Breath of Snow & Ashes while walking around the neighborhood on my daily exercise walks, Watched the Starz YouTube video of World Outlander Day -all with some Whiskey to celebrate!
Your books are fantastic & so addicting! Love the show too! The Cast & Crew are incredibly talented & so giving!
I really appreciate & look forward to your daily lines & anything regarding the show as well. You’ve created a wonderful world that I can’t seem to get enough of.
Thank You for all that you do for us fans!
I salute your awesome list of suggestions for celebration of Outlander Day! Especially the whiskey! The dress making is tempting but may be a bit out of my skill set at the moment.
Toocutedobs=two cute dobermans
Would love to have your autograph and an autographed cast photo. How do I request it? Read your books long ago, and recently added STARZ, so have watched all 4 seasons of Outlander twice in 2 weeks. You have inspired me. Long ago I began a genealogical search of my father’s family who emigrated from South Shields England 110 years ago. I found it difficult as there were 4 men with the same name as his father, born about the same time, in the same area. I quit looking. After watching Outlander, and for my 71st birthday in September, I am going to my father’s homeland. I will be traveling also in Scotland as, of course, I am a Frazer. Love the books, love the series, lo0king forward to more, more, more.
To obtain a book autographed by Diana, you either need to 1) attend an event where Diana appears that has a book signing, or 2) purchase a new book from the Poisoned Pen bookstore online. Diana has a special arrangement with the Pen to provide signed books, and they have many of her titles in stock and ship around the world. There is no extra charge for her signature; you pay the cost of the book plus shipping. More information is at:
As for obtaining signed cast photos, you would probably need to attend an event featuring the cast members. In August, 2018, Diana and many of the cast members were featured at Wizard World in Chicago, and appeared on panels together. Attending fans could purchase a photo where they got to pose with Diana and the cast members. To get a photo like that signed, the fan would have to stand in the signing lines for Diana and each cast member. At this time, Diana is not scheduled to do any similar conventions with the cast in the next year, but cast members do appear a lot at science fiction and fantasy corporate conventions that include an Outlander track.
Personally, I would not buy any signed photos of the cast sold on the internet, by dealers not affiliated with the TV series. In fandom as a whole, there are a lot of fakes. You’d have to figure out how to find a reputable dealer.
Have fun in Scotland!
So happy there is a 9th Outlander book coming soon, when I finished reading Written In My Own Heart’s Blood I had so many unanswered questions, such as does Willian re-enter the story and connect with Brianna and Jamie again. Thank you for writing such beautiful books.
Believe it or not I have read the the entire Outlander series three times and get something fresh and new each time. I have now reached my 80′s and am therefore looking forward to book nine. Is there a projected publication date since I understand it’s due out some time this year, and I would like to pre-order if possible. Brianna is one of my favorite characters. My daughter is a redhead and will be visiting Ireland this summer. There is also a beautiful young six-foot tall redhead in my church with hair cascading almost to her waist. Guess who she makes me think of?
Warning! – pedant alert!!!
I’ve really enjoyed all eight Outlander books, and, while awaiting Book 9 to hit the book stores, I’ve delved into some of your ‘bulges’. (Here comes the pedant alert.)
When you introduce Roger McKenzie’s RAF pilot father, you give him the rank of Lieutenant. The RAF doesn’t ‘do’ lieutenants. The RAF equivalent rank is ‘Flying Officer’. The next rank up is ‘Flight Lieutenant’, equivalent to a US Army or USAF Captain, and it is never abbreviated to ‘Lieutenant.’ (In what these days I call ‘a previous life’, in my youth, I used to be be one.)
As ‘just one of the pilots’ on a fighter squadron, Jerry could quite possibly be either a Flg Off or a Flt Lt.
I thought to write in case you have a well-deserved second printing of either of the books where Jerry features.